An Oregon man accused of groping a 13-year-old girl on an American Airlines flight is facing a charge of sexual assault.
The criminal complaint, filed on Wednesday, said that Chad Cameron Camp was seen by a flight attendant with his hand close to the young girl’s crotch. The complaint further revealed that Chad was trying to start a conversation with the girl but, as she said, he wasn’t making sense.
As reported by the New York Daily News, according to a witness, Chad had as many as four alcoholic drinks in a period of one hour while he was at the airport bar.
The mother of the young girl said Chad and the airlines are collectively accountable for the incident. “It’s so many different emotions… initially you’re shocked and then you’re angry,” she said. “You’re sad that your child has to deal with this for the rest of her life.” She said she paid $300 additional for her daughter to travel alone; but her daughter spent 30 minutes telling Camp to stop touching her, KOIN reported.
“At one point she said, ‘What are you doing to me?’ and nobody could hear because no one was even close enough,” the girl’s mother said. “A lot of comments [say], ‘Why didn’t she say something?’ and she did and he laughed… If somebody would have been close enough to hear it could have been prevented.”
Brent Goodfellow, lawyer of the family, said the airlines did not do anything to make sure the girl remained safe while traveling. “This girl got abused for 30 minutes and no one was to be found,” Goodfellow said, as reported by the Washington Post. “This was 30 minutes of hell for this young lady.”
According to William Funk, a Lewis & Clark University law professor, the airlines could be held responsible for the incident if the family is able to prove negligence on the airline’s side.
“Obviously the [flight attendant] can’t stand there and watch her the whole time,” Funk said. “But if there was any indication something was wrong and brought to their attention and they didn’t do anything, that would matter.”
A statement released by American Airlines said, “American cares deeply about our young passengers and is committed to providing a safe and pleasant travel experience for them.”
“[The young girl] doesn’t want to be on an airplane ever again,” Goodfellow said. “This is going to affect the rest of her life.”